Jesse Paul Warren
A Designer*
Jesse Paul Warren
a designer*
The Degens
10,001 Edition NFT Collection.
Designer + Artist

This is a set of 10,001 NFTs I was paid to design for a Web 3 project.

I never bought an NFT before this project, and I haven't bought one since.

But any chance you have to create something — whether it's a skyscraper or a set of pixelated cat NFTs — is a platform to bring a dose of love and truth into the world, knowing that it will ripple out in ways you may never fully comprehend. I try to do that with everything I do, because otherwise I feel like I'm wasting my life.

While I'm proud of the whole collection, I'm particularly proud of the EASTER EGG 80 which was the last part of the collection I added. I discuss that toward the bottom of this page.


I made the first 9,950 pieces by individually designing each layer, then combining them randomly with an open source script.


In this case, randomly generated meant a series of 100+ layers I individually designed, which I compiled to create the unique variations. For example, there were 9 different base fur colors, which would be layered randomly with different eye/sunglass types, outfits, and accessories.


My intention was always to individually design the last 51 pieces of the collection, rather than leave them to the random generation script. This meant I had I had total freedom, and could play with the structure, themes, and expectations. This section included references to famous artists and celebrities. But they also included unique takes, like "Atman-cat" — a spiritual cat without a body.

Each piece had a theme and a point.

For example, this one was a commemoration to the great artist and designer Virgil Abloh, who had passed away around the time I was working on this. It included one of his tenets, "Loaded Message In Disguise", which related to how I viewed this collection.

The FINAL 51 was also a chance to break expectations.

For example the 8th piece in the FINAL 51, titled "The World Has Changed" broke the standard pixel grid, and instead had a message written in the shape of cat that shared some of my thoughts about what it meant to be making my first NFT collection.

In some cases I could completely shatter the pattern, like this one "Meow Weiwei, AKA Burning a 21st century NFT", a reference to Ai Weiwei's famous "Dropping a Han Dynast Urn".


This is the part of the collection I think is the most interesting, and what I am most proud of.

As I was getting ready to send the files for deployment (publishing), I had the idea of making some minor hand-drawn changes to a few of the randomly generated pieces. It would be a fun surprise to look through the collection and find them.

In the end, I made 80 of these. I worked frantically to get them all done in a few days. I totally lost my mind, but that's what made it the most exciting part of the collection. These got to a deeper level of creativity. It's funny how that happens. The very last thing you throw in often turns out to be the best. You often hear about the same thing happening on albums. It's probably because at that point, you feel like you have nothing to lose. Which opens your creativity to new levels.

This one was always my favorite easter egg.

Another abstract piece

Some of the easter eggs were more simple and beautiful.


Another distinctive trait of the collection was the seal, which I added to the bottom right corner of every piece. This included the piece's unique number, and date of creation. On the FINAL 51, it also included the title and accompanying commentary/subtitle.